Courgetti with basil pesto from Hemsley & Hemsley
Low carb, should we carb – is it a phase or is it here to stay? We have been advised for nearly 3 decades to eat a diet low in fat and rich in low fat carbohydrates, yet recently there has been a backlash, an about turn and a general questioning of this theory. I must admit to being an advocate of an holistic approach. I believe that we all have a very individual metabolic blueprint, some of us thrive on a high protein, low carb diet whereas others would feel thoroughly lack lustre if we followed that regime (me being one of those). This has been attributed to our ancestral genetics, for example if one is of Viking origin it would be likely that you would be happier following a protein rich lower carb diet.
Food is my thing, finding new recipes, tasting new foods and flavours “floats my boat”. I have burgeoning bookshelves, groaning under the weight of my cookery books. They sit jostling for space with my exercise and nutrition textbooks (I have a diploma in Nutrition with a specialism in Sports Nutrition) so good food, food that really fuels us is important to me. A perfect recipe would satisfy hunger, refuel the body and nurture the soul. A meal should nourish not only your body but also your mind. Guilt is an evil that sits with so many of us at the table. Guilt diminishes enjoyment and destroys the ability to recognise satiety because we feel we “oughtn’t to” rather than enjoying the meal and eating until one has eaten sufficient. If we focus on eating consciously, free from distractions then naturally we will benefit.
One of my current favourite books is Hemsley & Hemsley’s The Art of Eating Well published by Ebury Press. The Hemsley girls have managed to produce a book that you can really eat from, not just cook a clutch of recipes leaving the rest redundant which is so often the case. Admittedly some of my now turn to recipes have been
stumbled upon by accident. A case in point for the Whole Roasted Cauliflower (page 108) – this rescued a forgotten cauliflower from my crisper drawer. Cauliflower is fine but not particularly sexy – usually smothered in a cheesy sauce to help it along – but this recipe transforms the humble veg into a delicious feast, with a little help from some pistachios and plenty of herbs and spices – mostly storecupboard.
The next revelation for those trying to reduce their carb intake, or even just trying to squeeze more vegetables onto their plates is courgetti. No longer do we need to have bolognaise with pasta, have it with vegetable spaghetti. Ribbons of vegetable can be fashioned easily and painlessly with a spiralizer. Hemsley & Hemsley have their own branded model which will be in Quarmby’s as of Wednesday, priced at £29.95. One can simply julienne or mandolin the vegetables but if you value your digits the Spiralizer is definitely the easier and safer option! Incidentally we also stock the Hemsley & Hemsley The Art of Eating Well book – we like to share some of our good finds! There is a website too which feature recipes and news www.hemsleyandhemsley.com
To sum up – remember that each meal should nourish both mind and body.
Here are some “Food Rules” shared from Michael Pollan’s Eater’s Manual (Penguin)
1. Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients
2. Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not
3. Eat only foods that will eventually rot
4. Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature.
5. If it came from a plant eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants…and enjoy it.